Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'Dancing With the Stars' recap: 'Finale Part 1'

Posted on


Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman
Reality TV

Two medical emergencies, a few baby announcements, some Perfect 10’s, and plenty of man tears later, we’ve made it to the finals of Dancing With the Stars. It’s been quite a season of highs and lows, and now Bindi, Nick, Alek and Carlos are the somewhat unlikely group of remaining celebrities battling it out for that mirror ball. Who freestyled their way closer to the win? Meghan Trainor kicks off Part 1 of finale night — minus a mega makeout session!

Carlos and Witney

Foxtrot | “The Hills” by The Weeknd

Carlos and Witney are the only remaining couple who have yet to receive a perfect score, and although Carlos was a contender from the start, I’m still a little surprised he’s here. Moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of a former Nickelodeon star. Bruno comes in and tasks them with the foxtrot, which is a good choice for one of their final numbers. It’s sexy and smoky, and though the first half isn’t 100 percent there for me, they finish strong.

Judges’ Score: 30

Alek and Lindsay

Rumba | “The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” by James Morrison

Speaking of surprises, I never would’ve predicted Alek would make it to the finals, but I’m so unbelievably happy he did. Carrie Ann joins them for rehearsals, where she reveals they’ll be dancing the hottest dance there is. Alek says he has trouble with getting his sexy on, but I have faith that his silky nighty will get him in the mood. Spoiler alert: He nails it.

Judges’ Score: 27

WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

Nick and Sharna

Jive | “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

Nick had a bit of a rough night last week, and Julianne is hoping to get him back on track — as long as his kicks and flicks aren’t loosey-goosey (her words, not mine). Nick knows he’s at the bottom of the pack but also seems more determined than ever to make it to Tuesday night. I wasn’t convinced this would be the dance to push him over the edge, but from the moment Nick started his routine it was game on. The performance was fast, on point, fun, and did you see that flip thing?

Judges’ Score: 30

Bindi and Derek

Quickstep | “Dr. Bones” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Carrie Ann says the judges have given them the toughest dance there is so they can see just how far they’ve come from the last quickstep. As if the dancing wasn’t tough enough, Bindi opens up the number with some theatrical introductions. The whole routine is a bit of a production, and based on their elation after it’s over, they seem a tad surprised they got through it all. All around, another great performance from Bindi.

Judges’ Score: 30

NEXT: A freestyle leaves the entire audience in tears  


Carlos and Witney

Freestyle | “WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell Williams

Witney goes for a history-making dance by asking the producers if they can get past contestants for the routine. I’m not sure why they choose Paula to join in, but a few seconds of her didn’t slow Carlos down. And neither did using Witney as a barbell.

Judges’ Score: 30

Alek and Lindsay

Freestyle | “Marchin On” by OneRepublic

Speaking of firsts, Lindsay wants to turn their routine into an obstacle course complete with an 8-foot wall. The dance is beautiful and not only symbolizes Alek’s life in the military, but also his journey as the everyman in this competition. It’s also a great outing for Lindsay’s first finale freestyle.

Judges’ Score: 30

Bindi and Derek

Freestyle | “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis

Derek and Bindi get emotional talking about her dad, and they take that loss as inspiration for a stripped-down dance. The routine is beautiful and emotional, sure, but it was also incredibly challenging, and I’m amazed at how many lifts and turns she pulls off. After a surprise photo of Bindi and her dad pops up at the end, Bindi breaks down, and there’s not a dry eye in the house. Related thought: How adorable is Bindi’s brother smiling through his tears in pure awe of his sister.

Judges’ Score: 30

Nick and Sharna

Freestyle | “Larger Than Life (Live Version)” by Backstreet Boys

Let’s be honest: Nick knows there’s no better way to a viewer’s heart than bringing out some more Backstreet Boys songs, and I love how much appreciation he has for the group that got him to where he is today. I love every minute of it, natch, and I hope it’s enough to get Nick through one more elimination.

Judges’ Score: 30

After two hours of greatness — and a whopping 7 perfect scores — one duo must exit the competition. It’s down to Nick and Sharna and Carlos and Witney, and after the longest pause ever, Tom reveals that Carlos and Witney have been eliminated. Will Alek defeat the odds and go from unknown to Dancing champ? Will Derek take nab his sixth win? Will Nick prove Backstreet’s back once and for all? Weigh in with your guesses for who will win in the comments!

And make sure to check out our video of Derek below!